The Austin Chronicle

Levitation Live Shot: Black Mountain, Kikagaku Moyo, Stonefield

By Alejandra Ramirez, November 9, 2019, 12:33pm, Earache!

No frills and all thrills, Stonefield bulldozed through recent servings off Bent, a fitting prelude to the cosmic and heady three-hour venture that took place Friday night at Mohawk.

A study of Floydian psychedelics and Zeppelin hard rock, the Aussie sister quartet summoned tightly-coiled fuzz and prog undercurrents in twofer “Sleep” and “Delusion.” Amy Findlay’s smooth tones reverbed in the cold air, barely cutting through the percussive ballast as a six-string blitzkrieg ricocheted behind her to sci-fi keyboard flourishes.

Spinning on a celestial axis, Tokyo sorcerers Kikagaku Moyo unfurled acid-folk microcosms into an ebb and flow of seamless instrumental exploration. Push, pull – the space and subtleties between sounds suspended in air and proved just as important as the maelstrom sprawling in the periphery. A drawn-out suspension of notes and the depth of bass in “Green Sugar” contrasted sharply with “Dripping Suns,” where wah-wah contortions and fuzz freakouts seesawed into softer, cherry blossom melodies.

Masana Temples opus “Gatherings” smoldered like white-hot stars as guitar convulsions combusted into a warp speed space/prog exploration and sitar-gleaned Middle Eastern textures. Stepping off the gas, the Japanese quartet settled into gentle acoustics as plucked strings plumed in “Cardigan Song.”

Falling into Stonefield territory, Black Mountain pummeled straight through with hair blowback via slabs of distortion and celestial Moog synthesizers. Puttered synths commingled with chest-heaving exchanges between dual vocalists Stephen McBean and Rachel Fannan before the ground split open. In “Mother of the Sun,” tectonic-shifted riffs broke into synth solos and boogie soul claps.

Acid fuzz and hellacious feedback metastasized in “Future Shade” as guitar leads cut through the clanging sprawl with an X-acto knife and Fannan squalls clawed like a screaming demon. Interstellar and cyborg saga “Horns Arising” warped into a sci-fi dream as robotic voicings coalesced with fever-dream guitar taming. Cerebral cracked triptych “Stormy High,” “Old Fangs,” and “Boogie Lover” layered astral synths into a cosmic bed of distortion as they skidded toward the final frontier.

Black Mountain, Kikagaku Moyo

Friday, Nov. 8, 8:00pm, Mohawk

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